led, briefly pressed from last, soon went clear, easily
chased leader in 2nd, pushed along before last and briefly challenged leader, soon no impression and kept on same pace run-in
raced in 3rd, not fluent 3 out and again not fluent next, pushed along before last where slight mistake, soon no impression and kept on same pace run-in
raced in rear, not fluent 4 out, no impression from 2 out and kept on same pace from before last
Hammerstein won a Tramore bumper in August before a disappointing hurdling debut at Wexford. He put that behind him with a victory at Killarney earlier this month when conceding 13lb to the runner-up and there's more to come. Soldier At War gained a battling debut success over hurdles at Sligo and though that was over 2m4f the shorter trip here shouldn't be an inconvenience. Bluegrass Princess won a maiden hurdle over the course and distance in August but was well beaten at Limerick on her return to action in March and it's difficult to see her making an impression on STRATUM. Willie Mullins' charge, a very smart stayer on the Flat, was well beaten in this a year ago but was returning from a break unlike here as he ran a fine race in a Grade B contest at the Punchestown Festival when only beaten just over 3l. He'd be conceding a lot more weight in a handicap and though this is on the short side his class should see him through.
Stratum 12-1 (11-2) Mid-division, close 9th 2 out, ridden entering straight, 5th at last, kept on, 4th of 25, 3 1/2l behind Mr Adjudicator (11-9) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp Good - Yielding in May.
Soldier At War (GER) 7-2 (11-4) Chased leaders and 4th from halfway, took closer order from 4 out and improved to dispute lead before 2 out, soon led, ridden and pressed from last, kept on best run-in, won at Sligo 2m 4f mdn gd in Apr beating Castlebellingham (11-4) by 3/4l, 14 ran.
Bluegrass Princess (IRE) 16-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, no impression in 5th after 3 out, pushed along and no extra before next, kept on one pace into moderate 4th run-in, 4th of 10, 28 1/4l behind Emily Moon (11-7) at Limerick 2m gd in Mar.
Martha Gail (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) Mid-division, 6th halfway, ridden and no impression in 8th 3f out, no extra, tailed off, 8th of 9, dist behind Be My Dan (11-9) at Tramore 2m gd in Aug.
Hammerstein 5-2fav (11-12) Prominent, on terms from 4 out, led after 3 out, strongly pressed and kept on well run-in, won at Killarney 2m 1f mdn gd in May beating Right Destination (11-4) by 1 3/4l, 8 ran.